THE Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) will be shutting down its technology and innovation business centre, Fablab.
Speaking to Informanté, one of the co-founders of the organisation, Kirstin Wiedow, stated that Fablab will be officially closed at the end of the month.
Wiedow stated that Fablab had 4 startups working from the lab and receiving support in the form of business advise and office space.
Over the past few months, however, 7 interns and staff members left, leaving a total of three to run the show until the business center closes.
“Unfortunately, Fablab was the only product prototyping and development t lab in the country specifically equipped to support things like smart hardware solutions, AI hardware integrated concepts, industry 4.0 devices, as well as smart clothing through to robotic arms and even future furniture,“ Wiedow said.
She added that it is definitely a sad day for innovation in Namibia as many have benefited from the lab, such as Debbie Ajibola, a former intern, who now runs programmes teaching children as young as 4-years-old to build and code robots.
Other notable Namibian innovators include former Fablab intern, Stefanie Garises, the youngest Mandela Washington fellow and first Namibian selected into the renowned French programme ‘the camp’, as well as just published Nust student and former Fablab intern, Julia Ndjene, who invented a smart coffee machine.
Wiedow noted that there is still business support available for local innovators in the form of NBII, SMEs compete, Bokamoso, the business schools at Nust and Unam, as well as Dololo.